If you’re using an autoresponder — and since you’re reading my blog you certainly are — you’re eventually concerned about the Open Rate of your list. If not, or if you’re still sending your newsletters in plain text format only (which I used to do until just recently), then you can dismiss this post for the time being. Bookmark and come back to it once you do.
The other day I received a “last newsletter issue” from a spiritual business person in which he expressed the concern of apparently low open rates. He grieved that only 25% would actually open the issues questioning why he should continue sending the advice if 75% would not even bother reading it (my own MyGermanCity.com’s stats exemplify the opposite, BTW).
This made me realize that even high profile Internet business people are still concerned about open rates? I was under the impression that dignitaries would be aware of the idiosyncrasies of open rates and that we have to take them with a grain of salt — especially those who use AWeber‘s main package (like I do).
Are you aware that a portion of your audience has set their e-mail client to block the display of images in e-mails received? And are you aware that AWeber tracks the open rates by slyly including a reference to a tiny image from within e-mail campaigns? So those who block the display of images in e-mails would read your message but the autoresponder stats would imply that they have not opened it.
On the other hand, and this is another oddity, if your subscribers open an individual message more than once, they’re being counted as often as they accept the display of images each time they open that issue. In other words, let’s say Joe opens the message today and then next week again, it will be counted as if two subscribers opened your newsletter. Yup.
This may count especially heavily for e-zines with a ton of high quality content where subscribers will likely read it again and again.
Well, I welcome further elaboration on this matter. Besides, I’m aware of extended subscriptions in which one can activate tools which resolve this issue.
Still, what about those who are not willing to pay double price and still, to some extend, trust the current stats? How can you improve its accuracy?
Let me list a couple of solutions on how to get more valid open rates in your e-mail campaigns…
- Include a distinctive header image without which the issue looks somewhat incomplete.
- Include a unique image for each individual newsletter issue that will make your audience want to display pictures so they can see what interesting graphic or pic you show them this time.
- Have your newsletter inundated with images so that it can’t be read without accepting the whole enchilada. This is a personal choice, and it’s not my favorite, but it may be highly effective for select audiences. The downside is that the open rate could ridiculously shoot to the roof since folks will likely open individual issues more than once and thus need to unblock images each and every time or else they cannot read a single word of it.
What do you do or use to refine the accuracy of your open rates? Or do you still send your issues in plain text and thus don’t really care about them?